Can we talk about the tricky issue of what happens when your pet dies?
Your pet’s death is inevitable – I mean it’s definitely going to happen – so don’t be afraid to talk about it and share emotions when it does.
To make things easier, I’ve come up with a five step plan for you (and separate words of encouragement on how best to treat your remaining pet).
1. Take your time – when a pet dies, it’s perfectly natural to feel upset and emotional. Some people feel better after a few days or weeks, while others take months or even years.
2. No blame – don’t blame yourself, or other people, for your pet’s death. If you treated it well and took it to the vet when it was poorly, you did everything you could.
3. Start talking – don’t bottle up all your sad thoughts, talking to family and friends is really helpful. Perhaps you could write down your feelings in a poem, story or diary.
4. Positive thoughts – you won’t be able to help thinking about how much you miss your pet, but make sure you remember the good times.
5. Online support – If you find it too hard to talk about your feelings, you could contact the Pet Bereavement Support Service, run by The Blue Cross and the Society for Companion Animal Studies. Email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone them on: 0800 096 6606.
A pet’s loss
Now, as well as you, there may be another pet in the house that is suffering the loss of a friend. The best thing to do is ask a vet for advice, but also give your remaining pet plenty of cuddles and play time, new toys and some treats. If it’s a dog that’s lost its canine friend, take him/her for plenty of walks with other friendly dogs and keep his/her mind occupied.